TOPCORP Training Program Receives $125,000 Grant from Environmental Defense Fund
Grant will support training oil and gas industry inspectors in basic petroleum technology
Austin, Texas (PRUnderground) July 16th, 2015
TOPCORP is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) for the continued operation of their inspector training program. A grant in the amount of $125,000 has been received, with the funds to be used to ensure the TOPCORP training program remains available to inspectors at no cost to them or their agencies.
“One of our goals is to bring together a broad base of sponsors who will partner with us to bring the latest information on science, engineering and technology in oil and gas operations to field inspectors,” said Dr. Hilary Olson, director of the TOPCORP effort at The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. “My colleagues at Penn State and Colorado School of Mines and I join together in thanking the Environmental Defense Fund for assisting us in providing continuous regulatory improvement to agencies across the United States.”
Working with the state regulatory agencies and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, the training program was developed by the three Universities in the TOPCORP educational consortium. Currently, the target audience is inspectors and other agency personnel engaged in enforcement with less than 18 months of on-the-job or other related experience, but those with additional experience, perhaps the inspector who is moving into oil and gas oversight from another area of expertise, are welcome as well.
“Oil and gas inspectors need to be prepared to meet the challenges presented by the complexity and scale of industry operations,” said Scott Anderson, senior policy director for EDF. “Effective training will equip inspectors to enforce the regulations that protect our environment. That’s why programs like TOPCORP are so important.”
Oil and gas inspectors and other agency personnel from around the country completed the four-module pilot program in December. Going forward, the classroom portion of the program will be completed via an innovative online interface. After successfully completing the online modules, attendees will be eligible to attend on-site workshops with hands-on activities and field trips. The next group of inspectors begins training in September of this year.
TOPCORP is part of an educational consortium composed of Colorado School of Mines, The Pennsylvania State University and The University of Texas at Austin. Faculty members from each university work together to create and provide training courses in basic oil and gas technologies for professionals working in a variety of energy-related careers.